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Oil-Free Salad Dressing | 3-Ingredients

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If you’ve been looking for an easy vegan dressing that can be whipped up in about 2-minutes flat, we’ve got you covered. This oil-free 3-ingredient dressing is fabulous on more than salads too.

oil free salad dressing in clear glass cup surrounded by plates of salad

This plant-based oil-free salad dressing is great on pasta and bean salads, as well as regular garden salads. With only three ingredients required, it’s likely you’ve already got everything needed on-hand.

overhead photo of plates of salad with oil free salad dressing

You’re going to love this healthy oil-free salad dressing because it’s…

  • Super easy
  • Only 3 ingredients
  • Easily customizable
  • Healthy
  • Light
  • Delicious

3-2-1 Esselstyn Dressing Ingredients:

balsamic vinegar, dijion mustard, and maple syrup in white bowls with whisk

Tips, substitutions, and tweaks

Another great thing is that these ingredients can be switched out with other variations if desired. For instance, though the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, other vinegar such as pomegranate, red wine, as well as others can be substituted.

The same goes for the mustard. I personally like Dijon in this dressing, but brown spicy, yellow, and others would likely be delicious too.

If maple syrup isn’t a favorite for you, try agave, brown rice syrup, or another sweetener of your choice.

Another 3-ingredient oil-free salad dressing that I love is this 5-Minute Tangy Vinegar Dressing that is actually from my favorite Thai restaurant where they use it as a dipping sauce for their fresh garden spring rolls.

salad dressing being poured over salad in blue plate
Whether served on a garden salad, bean salad, or pasta salad, this stuff is amazing!

*Originally published October 2018.

Other recipes this oil-free vegan dressing goes well with

Recently, I demoed Easy 4-Bean Salad in a Food for Life class I was teaching, and I decided to use this dressing instead of the regular Italian dressing called for in the recipe. It was amazing and got rave reviews from class participants. Everyone was delighted to see that it was so easy to make.

mixed bean salad topped with cilantro in white bowl
Easy 4-Bean Salad that we make in Food for Life classes is a great recipe to use this 3-2-1 dressing in. Click photo to see full bean recipe.

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Pasta salads are another great option for this dressing. This Easy Vegan Pasta Salad is a terrific recipe that calls for a very similar dressing, but 3-2-1 Dressing could easily be substituted to make it even simpler.

So who is Esselstyn?

Esselstyn 3-2-1 Dressing was created by a chef named Jane Esselstyn. She is the daughter of Dr. B. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., M.D., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book by Caldwell Esselstyn
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Click to view on Amazon. Links to are affiliate links. When you buy something through my links, I receive a commission that helps support this site which is greatly appreciated.

Jane Esselstyn is a fresh and charismatic voice on the plant-based, whole food diet. She brings her perspective and passion as a long-time health and sexuality educator to creating on-ramps to the plant-based way of life. Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-based recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her next door neighbor and mom, Ann. —Esselstyn website

Other great salad dressings

vegan salad dressings photo collage
These are some of our favorite oil-free salad dressing recipes. Click photo to see other recipes.
oil free salad dressing in clear glass cup surrounded by plates of salad

Oil-Free Salad Dressing | Esselstyn 3-2-1

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

This recipe is great on pasta and bean salads, as well as regular garden salads. With only three ingredients required, it's likely you've already got everything needed on-hand.



  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, or shake up in a jar. 
  2. Pour over garden salad, bean salad, or pasta salad.
  3. Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7-days.


Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 412mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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